Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Working with vZome

vZome is Scott Vorthmann's virtualization of ZomeTool, an ingenious geometrical supply built around this injection molded hub and plastic rods of variable length. Ideally, students would have ample access to this building supply. However, it's not necessarily practical to be assembling a rhombic triacontahedron in your airplane seat on some jet ride to Tokyo. For times like those, you have vZome. For other times too.

As of this writing, we do not have a corresponding tool for Flextegrity, and could use one. The Elastic Interval Geometry genre (EIG), starting with Struck, then Springdance, Springie, and Darwin @ Home, has taken us a long way in the right direction. The Flextegrity application would likely be in this EIG lineage.

vZome rods are not springs, but are of fixed length and color-coded. The hub's angles are also fixed. These constraints constitute a self-auditing aspect to vZome constructions, which its power-users come to appreciate.

My project is to take some recent Koski vZomes and pull them up in Scott's Java app (vZome). Next, I will boot up Camtasia Studio and see to what degree I am able to faithfully capture the live operation of vZome on screen, for saving to disk in some movie format, suitable for uploading to Youtube.

This is the kind of thing we could be doing in Canada, trying to get around the Qyooban Embargo (long story). Some of the vZomes show off Verboten Math (e.g the 7.5 RT and 6.0 RD inter-twining), stuff not usually made available in the USA, especially not in high schools -- unless you're lucky enough to have a RadMathNet household in your zip code area (97214 has a few).